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BEER BOOKS FOR SUMMER READING

Beer Books

As a beer writer I get sent a lot of books to review. Here is a selection of some recently published beer books which may enhance your enjoyment of beer drinking and also provide some interesting summer reading.

Cheers, Cheers! Where’s the Beers by Randolph Riecke. Campus Elysium 2015 paperback £7.99

The author looks at 101 of the most popular beers (mainly lagers) from around the world and provides a brief history of the brew plus his own tasting notes. There have been several beer books along the lines of 1001 beers to try, 300 more beers to try and so on. However, these books tend to focus on hard to find beers brewed by small breweries. The author author has chosen a very different path by focusing on the best selling beers that are drunk around the world. Many of these drinks are available in the UK. This could be a useful book to take on a cruise if you are likely to visit a number of different countries and want to know more about local beers.

Mikkeller’s Book of Beer by Mikkel Borg Bjergsø and Pernille Pang. Jacqui Small 2015 hardback £20

This is the story of a Danish micro-brewer who has become something of a global superstar in the world of brewing. From a modest start as a home brewer in Copenhagen he now brews his innovative craft beers in the USA, UK, Belgium and Norway. As well as charting his own rise to brewing fame, the book has sections on the history of beer, micro-brewing, types of beer, beer tasting and 25 of his own recipes for home brewers. This is a very stylish and beautifully illustrated book which would make a great present for any beer enthusiast.

Brew Britannia: the Strange Rebirth of British Beer by Jessica Boak & Ray Bailey. Aurum Press 2014 paperback £12.99

This book tells the story of the history of British beer and pubs over the last 50 years.

It charts the fight back by the enthusiasts who formed the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) to ensure that cask conditioned real ale would continue to be brewed and available in British pubs. It also looks at the rise of the microbrewery from the handful that started up in the 1970’s to the present day where there are over 1200 breweries in the UK. The book covers the licenced trade and the issues that came out of the deregulation of pubs in 1989 when big breweries were forced to sell off their pubs. The story of the fall and rise of British brewing is a complex tale but one that is superbly told in this well written and highly informative book. It should be compulsory reading for anyone who works in the licensed trade.

Beer: The Ultimate World Tour by Bill Yenne. Race Point 2014 hardback £18.99

The late, great father of beer writing, Michael Jackson was the first author to produce an encyclopaedia of world beers back in 1990. He was followed by a number of other writers with this book providing a worthy update on the fast changing global beer scene. The book covers most European countries, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and an overview of beer in Africa, Middle East and the rest of Asia. It is a thorough, well researched book giving a concise history of brewing in each country, an overview of the major breweries and some mention of a few of the more interesting small producers. It is a very useful reference book for the beer enthusiast as well as being a well-illustrated, visually attractive publication. This is another book which would be the perfect gift for a beer lover.

By: 
David Harris, Member of the British Guild of Beer Writers
Posted on Wed, July 08 2015